After enjoying a river or canal holiday many people decide they want to but a boat of their own so that they can enjoy the water ways even more. There are a number of options to owning a boat and the best will depend on your own circumstances.
What do you want your boat for. This will help you decide what facilities you need.
If you want to use your boat all year round then you should consider a boat with heating
Many narrow boats have stoves which burn wood, Coal or diesel. Some stoves provide back boilers to heat water and run central heating system. Alternatively gas heaters can be installed to heat the boat. Often these run on bottled gas and are similar to those found in holiday caravans.
If you are intend to be aboard for more than a weekend you will need a boat that has systems to provide electricity. If you are not going to running the boats engine each day then this limits your options to:
- Land line power supplies - some moorings offer this
- From and on board generator, from a small petrol driven portable unit to and installed diesel generator.
If you are planning to run the boats engine each day you can also consider:
- Inverters - this converts 12 volt battery power to 240 volts.
- From 240 volt alternator attached to the engine.
On UK inland waterways sewage waste cannot be discharged into the water and must be held aboard for disposal at a sanitary or pump out station. Smaller boats have toilets with cassette holding tanks which can be removed for disposal at a sanitary station. Larger boats tend to have a holding tank built into the boat which can be emptied at a pump out station.
The water supply for boats is usually held in a steel , stainless steel or plastic tank. Running water is supplied to the taps by an electric pump.
On British Waterways short term mooring places are provided, normally free, for cruising boaters. The maximum stay on a short-term mooring is normally 24hours - 14 days, so if you intend to leave your boat moored somewhere for longer than this you will need to pay for a mooring. Moorings in marinas or bank side are available both from British Waterways and privately at a charge and in places can be hard to come by.